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    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 10th Jul 07, 2:58 PM
    • 1,233Posts
    • 3,567Thanks
    MSE Jenny
    MMD: Should Jeremy and Kirsty come clean?
    • #1
    • 10th Jul 07, 2:58 PM
    MMD: Should Jeremy and Kirsty come clean? 10th Jul 07 at 2:58 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Should Kirsty and Jeremy come clean?

    Newlyweds Kirsty and Jeremy have sold their house to another couple for £240,000. It’s all gone really well: the survey was fine, they’ve moved into their new pad and they’re three days away from exchange & completion. Yet after the heavy rain, a large crack appears across the living room ceiling. Jeremy reckons he can plaster it up so it’s not visable and it will hold for a few weeks – after that it'll become the new couple’s problem. But Kirsty gets along well with the buyers and feels bad.

    Should Kirsty and Jeremy come clean? Click reply to have your say

    Should Paris split her winnings with Nicole?

    Last edited by MSE Martin; 11-07-2007 at 8:27 AM.
Page 1
  • missali
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 07, 8:01 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 07, 8:01 PM
    I don't think so myself since the survey was all ok
  • ukoberon
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 07, 9:00 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 07, 9:00 PM
    ok so why has the living room ceiling cracked and not a 1st floor ceiling.... it is a house not a bungalow....

    Anyway - I think they should...........take the money and run!
    Some people have no shame eh!
    • andytheguv
    • By andytheguv 10th Jul 07, 9:00 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 07, 9:00 PM
    Crack in the ceiling ?
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 07, 9:00 PM
    S**t happens. Get a full survey and protect yourselves
  • bsmallwo
    • #5
    • 10th Jul 07, 9:31 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jul 07, 9:31 PM
    If it was me, I couldn't live with myself for leaving that type of problem with the new owners. Wouldn't insurance cover it anyway?
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 10th Jul 07, 10:10 PM
    • 12,134 Posts
    • 18,762 Thanks
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 07, 10:10 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 07, 10:10 PM
    Sorry, but the rule in these cases is 'let the buyer beware'. The sellers are obliged to give certain information during the selling procedure, but if they are 3 days away from completion they will probably have already exchanged, in whuch case the buyer is legally obliged to go through with the purchase.

    Even if it is one of those unusual transactions where exchange and completion take place on the same day, it is still the buyers problem. If there have been extensive floodings it is up to them to ask the relevant questions through their solicitor and/or get their surveyor to re-examine the property.

    I'm afraid I'd keep schtum. I'm not even sure I'd attempt to plaster over the cracks.
    • Mics_chick
    • By Mics_chick 10th Jul 07, 11:32 PM
    • 11,689 Posts
    • 11,568 Thanks
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 07, 11:32 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 07, 11:32 PM
    S**t happens. Get a full survey and protect yourselves
    Originally posted by andytheguv
    I think if the buyer has had a full survey then it should have highlighted this problem anyway, shouldn't it ???

    And if they hadn't had a full survey then it's their problem in my opinion

    My parents got caught out by not having a full survey on a Victorian/Edwardian terraced house. When they sold it the buyer did have a full survey done which found some sort of problem with the roof joists and my parents had to reduce the selling price by several 1000's to cover the cost of repair/improvement
    You should never call somebody else a nerd or geek because everybody (even YOU !!!) is an
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    • ducky2004
    • By ducky2004 11th Jul 07, 3:40 AM
    • 88 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 07, 3:40 AM
    Most contract will say buyer responsibile
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 07, 3:40 AM
    Standard contract would say that the buyer is responsible for repair/insurance from the date of exchange (I assume 3 days from completion means the contract has been exchanged). Hence there is no dilemma here really... the seller should inform the buyer of the damage, but it is the buyer problem to fix it...
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 11th Jul 07, 6:22 AM
    • 481 Posts
    • 321 Thanks
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 07, 6:22 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 07, 6:22 AM
    Yeah plaster it, or even better pretend you didnt see it
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 11th Jul 07, 6:33 AM
    • 427 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    I don't think so myself since the survey was all ok
    Originally posted by missali
    This answer is spot on
    • Seakay
    • By Seakay 11th Jul 07, 7:33 AM
    • 4,172 Posts
    • 10,055 Thanks
    I don't understand the claim that the buyer's insurance will cover the damage - surely if the seller is still in residence then it is their insurance which would be claimed against?
    • ohit
    • By ohit 11th Jul 07, 7:54 AM
    • 355 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Insurance somewhere along the line will cover it, so don't worry about it.
    • gravitytolls
    • By gravitytolls 11th Jul 07, 7:55 AM
    • 12,997 Posts
    • 23,207 Thanks
    That's what I figured Seakay. I'm also confused as to the why the lounge has cracked after rain.

    Assuming it is actually the first floor ceiling, I would probably want to know why rain water could have affected my home in this way. I'd be afraid of any possible come back's.

    But to answer the question, I might mention 'spotting' a crack, andr epaiiring it.
    I ave a dodgy H, so sometimes I will sound dead common, on occasion dead stupid and rarely, pig ignorant. Sometimes I may be these things, but I will always blame it on my dodgy H.

    Sorry, I'm a bit of a grumble weed today, no offence intended ... well it might be, but I'll be sorry.
  • bargainhunter
    A similar thing happened to my family a few years ago.
    We sold our house (exchanged contracts) two months before completion and in the period between exchange and completion a large crack appeared in one of the walls because the house subsided. The house had been given a full bill of health in the survey a few weeks earlier.

    In the terms of the contract of sale, the buyer was responsible for the house from the date of exchange, but he had not insured the house. Luckily, our buildings insurance was still running, so we were able to claim on our policy for the damage to the house. We were under no legal obligation to pass this money to the buyer, but we did so all parties were happy in the end.

    As a few of the earlier posters have said, the house is normally the buyer's responsibility from the date of exchange and they should insure it from that date. If a crack appears, the sellers should not try to cover it up as this would be a deliberate attempt to deceive the buyer. If they did deliberately cover up the crack, the buyer would be able to sue them for not revealing the information.

    If Kirsty and Jeremy have already exchanged, they should notify the buyer, but would have no further obligations and the buyer must complete the sale. If they have not exchanged, they should still notify the buyer, but the buyer would probably either withdraw from the sale or demand a discount to cover the repairs. Kirsty and Jeremy's buildings insurance should cover this.
    • TheFaqqer
    • By TheFaqqer 11th Jul 07, 8:02 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Caveat emptor.

    Don't cover it up, but don't say anything either.
  • kamoha
    Im sorry I would say nothing, I hope to sell myself in a few months and am desperate to move, that would take precedence for me. However as this is a leasehold I live in its not applicable for this case Even if it was though I would probably say nothing but make sure my insurance was valid in such a case.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 11th Jul 07, 8:28 AM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    A clarification:

    They have not exchanged or completed - the plan is to do both on the same day in three days time.

    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • Becky12
    Just something to think about
    I've been on the receiving end of a similar situation.

    Bought fairly new house, advised by both solicitor and surveyor that a full structural survey wasn't necessary. (paid for professional advise - and took it).

    Entry was a good 8 weeks after the surveyor had visited, during this time the owners experienced flood/water damage under the ground floor and didn't come clean.

    Our insurance wouldn't touch it because it happened whilst it was under their ownership - the owners denied all knowledge - and I am led to believe claimed for it under their own insurance and put the money towards their new home!

    We had to move in with relatives, have all the floors ripped up, joists renewed, cost 1000's, 2 young kids, weeks before Christmas......... say no more! I've tried putting myself in their shoes and under pressure to move etc and yes - we should have had a full survey done ...... but I would have found it slightly easier to take even if they'd moved out, left us with all the upheaval but at least let their insurance cover it. Trust me - the damage isn't just to the house or the bank balance.
  • purplegaily
    I'm an honest type of Girl. I'd be mortified that it had happened, and probably phone the prospective buyers asap. I'd then get on to my insurers and get them to cover it. If it wasn't covered, then I'd panic !!

    The new owners would know how to get hold of me through the various channels (and the fact that I'd probably get them to forward on any post) and I'd hate to be on the wrong end of a legal wrangle - which would more than likely be sorted by insurance that I'm already paying for (it's not like I get a no claims discount on my home insurance premium!)

    I'll let you all know when I'm going to sell up next time!!
    • JayD
    • By JayD 11th Jul 07, 10:04 AM
    • 529 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    Should Jeremy & Kirsty come clean?
    Well I don't think I have enough information - or legal knowledge - to give a definitive answer to this but ...

    I think I would contact my solicitor and ask him how things stood legally. I may legally be obliged to tell them if it was potentially dangerous. If I didn't have to tell them, I would also want to know just what were the possible legal scenarios if I did.

    I would certainly feel morally obliged to tell them and I would have expected that there was some cover/redress for the new buyers either through insurance or the original surveyors. I might also feel obliged to arrange for a survey myself to ensure that the porperty I was selling wasn't potentially dangerous and to establish the cost of putting it right. After all, there may be an amicable means of sorting this out. If the buyers are in a chain, they might not be able to cancel this purchase and it may be everything they have ever wanted - location, size, layout etc. Negotiation is always an option.

    To summarise, I feel they should investigate the situation further and will then be in a better position to make decisions and hopefully discuss it with their buyers amicably.
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